You know, romance is kind of a luxury, when you think about it.
For the majority of human history, marriage has been decided by outside factors, disregarding “compatibility.” Status, power, family–all these factors were infinitely more important than “love.” But recently, compatibility, love, and romance have reigned supreme, the desires of the heart put forth as the most important value. But even then, it can be hard to know, for certain, whether you and your partner are truly compatible.
So, what if you could know, from the very beginning, that you were with paired with your perfect soulmate? What if you were automatically paired with the person who, in personality, goals, intelligence, and more, was perfect for you?
Well. You might be surprised at the problems that arise.
Koi to Uso is a Summer 2017 anime that takes place in the near future, in a reality where Japan has decided to confront its need for increased population growth in an…interesting way.
By deciding the most compatible marriage partners for its citizens, starting from the age of 16, the Japanese government has been able to achieve its goals with a resounding success! The system has worked so well, that the citizens of Japan, for the most, part have whole-heartedly accepted it. After all, there’s no need to take a risk, when the government’s “Red Strings of Fate” can choose the best partner for you.
Enter the 15, going on 16 year old youth, Yukari Nejima. A kid who makes it very clear that the government has no sway on him, that he won’t get married, no matter what! After all, with the truest of loves for his childhood crush, Misaka Takazaki, what could stand up to the passion he has? When he finds out that Misaka loves him as well, his faith seems very much rewarded, his defiance against the government given meaning.
However, once he receives his notice, telling him of his designated partner, Lilina Sanada, the world turns on its head, as he struggles to keep his feelings for Misaka alive. Understandably, he’s stuck in a very strange, very unwanted position, being with a complete stranger, while also trying to foster his love for Misaka. And, surprisingly, Lilina…wants him to as well?
In a world where these designated partners don’t want to be together anyways, the three youths struggle with their feelings of love and romance, in contrast to the world that aims to decide them in their place. But of course, love in this world, isn’t exactly the easiest thing to keep alive.
It’s interesting, ain’t it?
Right off the bat, the plot of the show gets moving. With a clean, rom-com animation style that is rather pleasing to the eye, Koi to Uso hops right into the comedy, characters, and of course, the drama. It’s bright, it’s happy, and knows how to exaggerate certain moments for more emotional, powerful scenes.
What stands out to me, however, is the sheer potential this story has to grow, in future episodes.
With a premise such as this, it’s hard not to be excited for what this anime may bring. It showcases a unique twist on the standard love triangle that is actually rather interesting, and also, has shown that it’s not adverse to presenting multiple sides of an argument, which I personally love. There’s a LOT of plot points to keep in mind, just by the end of the third episode, and so, there’s a LOT of room for Koi to Uso to grow into a memorable, dramatic, or heck, even a fun story.
But of course, that’s just potential. We’ll see where that leads.
As of the first three episodes, the series manages to be rather entertaining, carving out its own unique sense of humor that is rather fun to see. It’s not the best of anime comedy, to be sure, utilizing some very, very overdone tropes, but at the very least, the character dynamic makes these situations rather…interesting.
However, at this point, I must admit: the first three episodes…have left me wanting more, and not in a very good way.
From a sheer plot perspective, the situation of our main characters is extremely intriguing. Their unique relationship is what draws me to the series, but at the same time…it’s not exactly the best-developed character relationship in anime, at least so far.
I bring up character dynamic to say this–I wish that they were, immediately speaking, a bit more memorable. Their personalities tend to fade into each other, defined very quickly by simple stereotypes. Yukari is the wimpy, yet determined and kind guy, while Lilina is the brash tsundere character, and Misaka is the intelligent, reserved, yet loving type. Not to say that they don’t have their own personalities, but as of now, they’ve yet to truly distinguish themselves.
That’s actually an apt way to describe my impressions of Koi to Uso so far: it hasn’t distinguished itself yet. The animation is solid, but nothing truly exceptional has happened. The music is nice, but I don’t know if I will remember it at all by the end. And of course, the characters are alright, but right now, I can very easily imagine either disliking them, or liking them.
Of course, there’s a lot of potential. But we’ll see how that goes.
I’m very hopeful for this anime, as something that could be a really solid watch, as far as rom-com anime are concerned. However, at this point, I err on the side of caution, as it appears that the series could very easily suffer from a lack of focus.
There are a LOT of dramatic points that can be built upon, from specific plot elements, to character relationships, development, and even world building. What worries me then, is whether or not the series has the ability to focus on the story it’s aiming to build, without getting caught up in trying to do too many things at once. Will it mostly focus on the relationship between our main trio? Will it try and carry out a theme of love in a loveless world, or will it continue to try and add new plot elements with every episode?
In the end, I just hope the story develops a sense of personality. Characters I can grow to enjoy as individuals, rather than stereotypes, and a story that is confident in what it tries to tell.
And hey, maybe this tale of Love and Lies will be one worth writing home about.
Regardless, I’ll still look forward to the next episodes–what do you think about Koi to Uso? Leave a comment down below!